12 Ways to Beat Stay-At-Home Blues

Wake up. Make breakfast. Clean up. Spend the day keeping the little ones alive and the house intact. Cook dinner. Clean up. Prepare the family for bed. Catch up what you couldn’t do earlier. Go to sleep. Wake up and repeat – over and over and over again. Sound familiar? Ick, even writing this out made me feel a little sad.

Clearly, it’s not hard to see how easy it is for stay-at-home parents to become depressed. I’ve been there myself! Learning from my personal experience, I found out that there are multiple things you can do to beat it! Take a look below…

  1. Get Adult Interaction

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First and foremost, you have to talk with adults – girl time, night out with the guys, acquaintances at church, friends you can call whenever – anything! As much as you love the kids, you are an intelligent human being. Your mind and spirit can’t thrive on baby babbling and incoherent toddler conversations.

Join a group where child care is provided – church, YMCA, etc. – or one that doesn’t mind children being present. Mom-to-mom events are always promising! Trust me, you will be SO thankful to have in-depth conversations that surpass toddler-complex discussions of keeping things out of their mouth. Talk to your spouse too!

Volunteering is another terrific avenue! You will definitely get to have more adult centered discussions. Plus, community involvement will boost your sense of accomplishment.

  1. Take Online Classes

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If possible, go back to school or start! I personally take online classes and find that they are much more flexible for my ever-changing mom-schedule. You take them when you want (just meeting a weekly deadline on average) instead of having to commit to a certain time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

You get to stay at home and not worry about having to find a babysitter or wait until the Mr. or Mrs. comes home. Best of all, you are working towards improving your skills and education – awesome! I guarantee you will feel a sense of pride for your hard work and achievements.

  1. Schedule for Success

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Schedules are a method to the madness. Children have very positive responses to a schedule and being able to follow what you designate to do is going to make the day not feel wasted or pointless. I know, schedules are hard to keep with children.

Sleep and eating habits change. Circumstances are easily influenced. However, being a parent means having to become a guru of adaptation. If the schedule no longer works, make a new one!

  1. Stay-At-Home Doesn’t Mean Caged-At-Home

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Dealing with the same craziness day after day might make you feel like a prisoner at home. I am here to remind you… You are not a caged animal! Get out and be active. Take the kids to a park on a nice day. Window shop on around the mall; my usual go-to. Drive to the library.

A simple walk around the block can be an effective breather. Your city’s web page can inform you of all the free events coming up in the neighborhood that the kids will enjoy. The kids may be animals (joke!) but you aren’t – don’t lock yourself away in the house!

  1. Focus on a Hobby

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Do you like to scrapbook, knit, or sew? What about paint, draw, or build with your hands? Having a hobby that can bring you a sense of happiness and relief is a powerful weapon to combat depression. With some hobbies, you can get the kids involved if you wanted. Or, just wait for naptime! Dedicate thirty minutes or more a day to do whatever interests you.

  1. Write as a Freelancer

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From my personal experience, I found freelance writing to be excellent for climbing over stay-at-home blues. You can join a freelance writing website and write content for clients. With my availability, I can make an average of $600 a month freelance writing while some moms I know make $1,500+.

It all depends on how much you write! You will feel productive and have fun if writing is something you enjoy doing. If money isn’t a concern and you don’t want to deal with deadlines and clients, make your own blog (I did!). It’s fun and you decide what you write when you want to.

  1. Get Lost in a Book

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I LOVE to read! When I find a good book – especially one that is part of series – I can get lost in an imaginative world for weeks! Of course, it is not good to be constantly stuck in la la land but a little escape can be stress relieving. Take a trip to the library and find something that grabs your attention.

Read when the kids are asleep or busy doing an activity you trust to not monitor like a hawk. Wake up a little early to sneak in a chapter or two to get you ready. Or, use it as a pick-me-up before bed after a hectic day.

  1. Tidy Up Around the House

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Don’t roll your eyes, I’m not talking about adding another chore to the list or do twice. Whenever you get a few minutes, just pick up the miscellaneous junk lying around. Why?

It’s depressing when you feel like you are living in a pig pen! Cleaning up periodically will keep your home nice and tidy while making you feel constructive!

  1. DIY Projects

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DIY projects are fun to do and can range solely for preoccupying time or assisting with home improvement. Look on Pinterest and find a decorative element you want to add to a room in the house. Keep the kids from bringing the home down with an art craft they will sit for.

Did you want to pick up reading but don’t have a quiet spot? Turn an old storage room into a quiet room! There are lots of family-friendly DIY projects!

  1. Treat Yourself

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Once in a while, it is perfectly acceptable to indulge in little guilty pleasures. Personally, sugary drinks and delicious sweets are my weakness – no shame! Maybe your innocent bliss is shoes or video games. Is part of your hobby collecting a little obsession of yours?

Give in a little! Accomplish weekly tasks and reward yourself (I will be stuffing my face with a cupcake). This only works though if you keep your indulgence within moderation. Don’t mistake rewards for the lack of self-control.

  1. Reserve Date Nights

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You need to get out with your significant other, without the kids, as a couple. Date night is an effective medicine when feeling gloomy. Dress up or go as you are – just go somewhere.

Aside from rejuvenating your sanity, dates with help strengthen the bond between you and your man or lady. This is super-duper important since the life as a mom and dad is hard work and can cause strain between the two of you. Remind him or her that you still love’em!

  1. Throw in Wild Cards

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Finally, be a little more spontaneous! Break out of zombie mode from the same daily routine by doing something out of the ordinary. Bored and want to get outside? Load the kiddos up and go to the zoo or water park! Sick of your hair looking like a mop on your head? Go get it washed and styled at a salon! Step out of the norm and remind yourself that part of parenting is relying on the wild side.

I really hope at least one of these suggestions can be useful for you! I’ve been a stay-at-home pregnant woman/mom and know that sitting in the same spot, surrounded by the same walls, all of the time can be quite depressing. Thankfully, I found a way to break of the blues and you can too!

Do you have suggestions other parents can use that wasn’t covered? Write them in the comments!

5 DIY Home Projects the Kids Will Enjoy

Are the kids restless and need something to do? It can be hard to keep kids entertained without tearing the house down. A life saver would be to finding something constructively fun that mom and dad can enjoy as well. Consider your life saved! Take a look at five fun projects the family can do today!

Lego Battles

Legos are super fun and can keep kids occupied for hours! I can testify to this as I used to work in a daycare and Legos were a big go-to activity to keep active kids preoccupied for a while. What I like about it is that Legos intellectually stimulates them problem-solving puzzle methods. Get the kids together and have “Lego battles”. Challenge to create projects. They can be as easy as building their own sculpture or as complicated to creating a complex zoo. For added fun – particularly for older children – use themed Legos like:

  • Harry Potter
  • Jurassic World
  • Superheroes
  • Batman
  • Minecraft
  • Disney
  • Alpha Team
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Angry Birds
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Star Wars
  • Th Avengers

Small building pieces can pose a choking hazard for younger kids. Use foam blocks or extra-large Legos to keep them safe!

Build Your Own Home Theater

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Instead of going out to the movies, create your own home cinema for a family time the kids will love! Do you have an old sun-room or extra space filled with forgotten junk? These are the perfect spots for a DIY home project! Round up the family and have them help clear the room. Kids can sweep, clean walls, and wipe windows. Furnish the room with furniture in the house or go out and buy new additions if you have the budget (the kiddos will be excited to take part in picking pieces out!). Fill the room with things that will complete the atmosphere – bean bag chairs, sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets, candy station, popcorn machine, movie posters, etc. This project can easily turn a dingy room into the favorite family spot!

Garden in the Backyard

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Gardening is an amazing way to get in touch with nature and teach your kids awesome skills! Plus, it makes the yard look great! There are a lot of ways you can get the kiddos involved with gardening. If they have an old sandbox they don’t use, turning into a big garden pot of their own. Let them choose the flowers – some flowers can be edible for motivating their excitement – and assist them with planting. Make sure they are setup for success by ensuring the plants will get enough sunlight, water, and TLC. Or, you can create a little slice of paradise by planting flowers in a certain shape (square, circle, heart etc.) that once flourishing, lets the kids have space to lay out and enjoy the outside in a personalized nook. This boosts their self-esteem and gives them something to proudly show when guests come over. I personally recommend starting with easy with a few flower pots to plant in the garden bed and go from there!

Transform a Room

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Remember that dirty, forgotten room we talked about making into a movie theater? Well, you can use that room for other purposes too:

  • Game center
  • Craft room
  • Spare bedroom
  • Home office
  • Activity center for the kids
  • Party space
  • Reading room
  • Family room

Do the usual sprucing and cleaning up. Monitor the kids to make sure they are not touching anything they shouldn’t or improperly handling cleaning agents – you can always use non-toxic cleaners! Decorate the room as you want and voila – new and improved!

Decorate Your Mailbox

How many times have you looked outside your window or walked up to the porch and cringe at the ancient rusty mailbox? You know who should get on this? The kids! Take them to a local craft or party store and have them pick out embellishments – glitter glue, sparkles, stickers, beads, ribbon, gems, paint, etc. – to turn the crusty mailbox from drab to fab! The projects will add a splash of your family’s personality to the outside appearance of your home. You can make this a regular routine for seasons and holidays! Just make sure the mail carrier can still see your address without trouble.

Are you feeling inspired! Ask the kids what they would like to do and get on it! Productivity and entertainment coupled with family bonding pave the way for a successful day!

Do you have projects you would like to share? Post them in the comment section!

Practical Exercises for Busy Parents

One of the first things I noticed to get push far on the back-burner after having a kid was exercise. Before, I had a religious routine and was obsessed becoming more physically fit – borderline gym rat. Then, I got pregnant and a lot of things came my way. Even now, with my son being an infant, the gym has become an old acquaintance. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t still be physically active! I quickly learned that I needed to get inventive with my workouts. Does that sound like something you need? Below is a list of exercises I found to be helpful and practical!

Commercial Circuits

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When you and the family are watching your evening show, perform circuit workouts. Do one-minute sets for jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, sit-ups, and lunges. I know, the kids are going to be giggling at the sight of mom and/or dad jumping and huffing around the living room. Get them involved too for a fun family activity! Not only will you have fun family time but you will be getting your sweat in too. Mix up your circuits throughout the week to get a customized full body workout!

Stroller Running

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Let me say first, don’t strap your kid into a standard stroller and take off down the street. There are strollers specially made to be equipped for jogging and runners. I’d recommend getting one for this physical exercise. When you do, get your kid fresh air and time outside while you get your heart pumping. It’s a terrific way to trim your body and improve your health!

Active Side-lining

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For parents with kids in sports, you can be active while they play their game. Run up and down the side lines and encourage your little athlete. Yes, you might look like “one of those” parents but so what? You are multitasking by exercising and supporting you child. This might not be so practical for sports like hockey or rowing. You can do circuits or a couple of squats when the teams are taking a break.

Outside Family Time

2 Girl's Swimming during Daytime

Being physically active is a prime way to be physically active – for your children and you – and spending quality family time together. Play tag in the back yard or play catch at the park. During the hot seasons, go swimming or skate in an ice rink when it’s winter time. If you have to stay indoors, play interactive games like Wii Fitness or Dance Dance Revolution (yeah, yeah – I might be a little behind the times). Or, play hide-and-seek; at least you will be walking around a bit!

Nap Workout

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Finally, the kids are down for a nap (or bed)! It might be tempting to relax and be a couch potato but this a prime opportunity to tend to your fitness. First – possibly most importantly – DO NOT exercise where the sounds and movement can wake the kids up; don’t do that to yourself. When you are in the clear, get the blood flowing and heart racing! You can follow exercise programs on T.V. or YouTube. Formulate your own rhythm after researching exercises. Whatever you want!

Gym at Lunch

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Depending on how long of a lunch break you have and the distance to your gym, you could hit the gym for lunch. Just make sure you can shower and have clothes to change into. If this isn’t possible, exercise at your desk. You can do push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, squats, mountain climbers, running in place, and much more. If there is a flight of stairs, walk or run up and down them.

Take the Stairs

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Speaking of stairs, take them wherever you can. Whether it’s entering a building, traveling up and down floors, walking the mall, or wherever else you can find them. Walking and running stairs is an amazing way to tone your glutes, thighs, and calves while fitting in time for cardio.

Anytime Squats

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Oh, are you waiting for the shower water to warm up? Do some squats. Taking a stretch from your desk? Do some squats. Just sitting on the couch? Do some squats. Watching over dinner in the kitchen? I think you can guess what you should do… squats! Squat, squat, squat! Wherever and whenever.

Bedtime Routine

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Finally, get a routine set up before you go to bed. If you happened to miss out the night before, do the when you get up. Even setting a goal of twenty-five sit-ups a night will help your wellness; especially when you add on more reps.

Add intensity to your workouts by incorporating weights, medicine balls, resistance bands and other exercise tools. Being a parent doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your health. You can keep active even when your kids keep your schedule busy. You just have to get creative and fit your workouts in where you can!

If you have any creative ways to fit exercise in, leave your tips in the comments!

Welcome!

Stick around!

Welcome to Secretsofsuperparenting! Parenting is hard and it’s okay to admit that! Sometimes, we just need a few tips, suggestions, insight, and pick-me-ups to pull through and continue to be awesome parents!

Secretsofsuperparenting is fairly new so please don’t mind the lack of content – blogs are on the way!

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